Cairn fracking move at Barmer Hill disappoints

Vol 19, PW 4 (22 Oct 15) Exploration & Production

Cairn India hasn't yet told partner ONGC, but its efforts to increase oil production by fracking tight oil wells at the Barmer Hill and satellite fields within the Mangala oilfield at the RJ-ON-90/1 permit in Rajasthan appear to have failed.

"Cairn has kept ONGC in the dark about the disappointing results from fracking," claims a well-placed source. "ONGC has been told fracking results are encouraging and that Cairn is on target to double production from tight reservoirs.

" Cairn today produces 5000 b/d of oil from Barmer Hill where it has drilled 8 horizontal and four vertical wells, of which nine are producing. Fracking operations at the Raageshwari gasfield within RJ-ON-90/1 are also disappointing.

"Permeability is low," we hear. "There were problems with the frack design.

" Cairn is planning to begin additional fracking at up to 15 old Raageshwari wells from December this year ahead of development drilling expected to begin by March or April next year (2016). Under the Field Development Plan, Cairn will drill 42 wells: 37 firm and five optional over 2016-17 and 2017-18.

"Well depths will vary between the north and south regions from 2600-3500 metres," we hear. Gas production from Raageshwari, Mangala, and Bhagyam currently stands at 30m cf/d (850,000 cm/d).

Overseeing tight oil frakking at Cairn is Anwar Husen, a director in the company's Special Business Unit (SBU). Calls to Husen were not returned.